Cars have it all over houses. I’ve often thought that if we could build houses like we build cars we’d be way ahead of the game.
If houses could be built in a factory, if their designs, efficiency and safety could be improved each year then we would all be living in better built homes. Duh, right?
Of course, it’s not how most construction projects are built, and I don’t know any good craftspeople who actually want to work in a factory. There are things we can do to build better though. Good design and a good crew are a must. Aside from that, if you care about performance (not freezing in the winter or sweltering in the summer, and breathing fresh air) the biggest quality control item is testing.
How To Test
There are several ways to have your house tested, but probably the most reliable and consistent is with a Resnet HERS Rater. This is a national program and HERSraters are trained to evaluate new home construction and give you a HERS score, essentially an MPG of how your house will perform. They don’t stop there, they also test and evaluate during construction to make sure that your home will perform as designed. This is actually a critical step in making sure that you get the performance you are after. Otherwise, it’s a coin toss, crap shoot, and a big fat guess as to whether your house will perform as designed.